Jan 14, 2015


Author: John A. Heldt
Series: American Journey No. 1
Print Length: 409 pages
Formats: Kindle
Published: January 1, 2015


Description: When unemployed San Francisco reporter Chuck Townsend and his college-dropout son, Justin, take a cruise to Mexico in 2016, each hopes to rebuild a relationship after years of estrangement. But they find more than common ground aboard the ship. They meet a mysterious lecturer who touts the possibilities of time travel. Within days, Chuck and Justin find themselves in 1900, riding a train to Texas, intent on preventing a distant uncle from being hanged for a crime he did not commit. Their quick trip to Galveston, however, becomes long and complicated when they wrangle with business rivals and fall for two beautiful librarians on the eve of a hurricane that will destroy the city. Filled with humor, history, romance, and heartbreak, SEPTEMBER SKY follows two directionless souls on the adventure of a lifetime as they try to make peace with the past, find new purpose, and grapple with the knowledge of things to come.

Author BioJohn A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life atjohnheldt.blogspot.com.


Pecos River, Texas
As a longtime patron of California theme parks, Justin Townsend knew thrilling rides on rails. He had ridden everything from the X2 and the Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain to the classic wooden coaster at Knott's Berry Farm. But until he crossed the Pecos High Bridge on a train pulled by a steam locomotive, he had never known fear.
"I can't see the ground, Dad. I'm not enjoying this."
Justin could feel the sweat accumulate in his hands even as he clutched the richly upholstered seat in the lounge car. He wondered if the engineering and safety standards of 1900 were as exacting as those of the twenty-first century.
"You should," Chuck said as he broke into a smile. "You're riding a bridge that hasn't existed for sixty-seven years. How many people can say that?"
Justin gave his father a death stare and then returned his attention to the window. He could see brown, scrubby hills in the distance but nothing that gave him comfort. The illusion of flying over a gorge at six miles per hour was extraordinarily disconcerting.
"I suppose you know how high we are," Justin said.
"We're three hundred and twenty-one feet above the river," Chuck said. He laughed. "I did a little homework on the bridge too."
Justin caught his breath when the train stopped in the middle of the viaduct-style bridge and held it until the wheels started to roll again. He allowed himself a nervous smile a moment later when he was convinced the train would safely cross the span.
"It looks like you did a little homework on a lot of things," Justin said. He glanced at his old man, who sat in a facing seat. "What's this all about, anyway?"
Chuck reached into his jacket and pulled out a standard business envelope.
"It's about this."
Chuck handed the envelope to his son.